Oreo Day (Peer Conferencing)
Before each written project is due in my composition course, we have a peer conferencing day, which we call "Oreo Day." During this day, the students divide into groups of three, read each others' papers, and offer feedback and advice for revision. I suggest that the conferences discuss at least three main components: 1) attention to the strong points of their peer's essays and why those points work well (corresponding to the metaphorical top layer of the Oreo), 2) advice on the areas that need improvement (the obligatory cream filling), 3) and concluding words of encouragment for revision (the bottom layer).
The students had engaged in two face-to-face Oreo Day peer conferences before holding online peer conferences during project 3. Usually, students were able read and respond to all three essays within the fifty minutes of class. During the MOO peer conferences, however, few of the teams were able to cover all of the essays during the class time; most of the groups got through two papers, and the fifty minutes were over. Because MOO conferencing tends to take longer than face-to-face conferencing, I now ask students to work in groups of two while conferencing online.
The sample peer conference presented here is between Janet,
It illustrates the potential for somewhat less
productive peer conferences when there is not enough time to work with
each essay individually. However, as I explain in the discussion
of the conferences, the students' offline reflection, both while the
online conference was occuring and afterwards with annotation of the logs,
illustrates the richness of the reflective action that can occur with the
MOO-based Metacognition: Incorporating Online and Offline
Reflection into the Writing Process